As indicated by McLaughlin and McLaughlin (2008), governments must respond to the concerns of healthcare providers having conflicting roles in society as agents for both patients and for others. In the 1990s, the United States saw the emergence of many physician-owned hospitals specializing in certain high-dollar procedures such as cardiac care and orthopedics. The reasons for their development were many. First of all, physicians sought to funnel the better insured patients to facilities in which they had a financial stake. Additionally, they were able to pick and choose patients who might have a better outcome. Moreover, the doctor had more control over the patient’s care and length of stay in a facility in which he had ownership. This created problems for the community hospitals, however, which were left with sicker patients who had lesser or no insurance benefits and still required similar services. In addition, since the community hospitals often relied on specialty care such as cardiac and orthopedic services to subsidize less profitable services, the proliferation of specialty hospitals was further harming their bottom line and compromising their financial viability. An analysis of the emergence of specialty care hospitals and on the moratorium placed on them from 2003 through 2006 by Congress reveals conflicting views of both proponents and detractors; some of whom urge they foster healthy competition among community hospitals and others who claim they represent a conflict of interest.
What’s Happened Since 2006 Physician owned specialty hospitals have been the subject of controversy and debate, yet have flourished since the early 90s. Initially, Washington let them proliferate, unchecked, until 2003 when Congress passed l...
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Opening Statement of Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman Hearing, Physician-Owned Specialty Hospitals : Profits before Patients? (May 17, 2006). Retrieved from: http://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/051706cg.pdf
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How doctor-owned hospitals are circumventing ObamaCare; Despite Washington's efforts to limit their growth, many doctor-owned hospitals are thriving. Retrieved from: http://theweek.com/article/index/244137/how-doctor-owned-hospitals-are-circumventing-obamacare
Perry, J. E. (2012). Physician-Owned Specialty Hospitals and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Health Care Reform at the Intersection of Law and Ethics. American Business Law Journal, 49(2), 369-417. doi:10.1111/j.1744-1714.2012.01135.x